Thursday, July 30, 2009

Briar Rose #4

I want you to think about the diction that Yolen chooses to use in this novel, and I want you to focus on the various writing styles employed by Yolen.

Sparse and heroic language is used by Josef Potocki in the section titled, "Castle." He speaks as the well-educated, cosmopolitan observer. He recognizes the importance of story, of the creation of legends as a spur to the actions of the partisans:
"A voice inside of him said, 'We rescue one, they kill one thousand. Still--one is enough.' . . . And he understood why Henrik and his followers cared more about making a powerful story than life itself" (216-217).

Repetition and echoing of key motifs reinforce the message of the novel. The one/one thousand contrast recalls the death toll of Chelmno camp--one day, one thousand dead (ein tag--ein tausend).

Contrast between the formal, traditional language of the fairy tale and the childish, informal chatter is shown when the children comment, question, or bicker as Gemma proceeds with her storytelling.

Explain the contribution these variations in diction and style make to the atmosphere (mood) and message of the novel.

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